Chocolate Rose Cake for Two

I've said it myself in the past so I can't judge too harshly, but I've learned to dispise when people say that Valentine's Day is just another day. I agree that you should treat your partner special every day, but February 14th should not go un-celebrated. I mean come on, who doesn't love heart shaped foods, chocolates with surprises in the middle, and guiltlessly eating box after box of Sweethearts? Oh yeah and the best part, spending quality time with your valentine :)

Do you remember what a big deal v-day was when you were a kid? I would work tirelessly the night before making a cute card for every person in my class. And when I say "I", I really mean my mom or stepmom. Heart shaped pancakes were always a must in the morning and my uniform would include a giant red bow in my hair. Maybe I should bring that look back for work on the 14th. 

Whatever your Love Day traditions consist of, our favorite is to make an amazing meal at home, drink entirely too much red wine, ban all technology, and eat chocolate until we burst! Since it's on a Tuesday this year, I wanted to make good meal over the weekend. Thomas worked all day on Saturday, so I cooked up a storm and jammed out to all the best love tunes. I'm talking I Do (Cherish you) by 98 Degrees kind of tunes. I made crab bisque, beef wellington, roasted potatoes, arugula salad, and finished the meal off with this amazing chocolate rose cake for two! The frosting is to dieeee for. I'm not going lie, I still have a bowl of it in the fridge and I keep sneaking spoonfuls. I got this recipe from Adrianna over at A Cozy Kitchen. It's the perfect, full proof chocolate cake recipe and can be made in a snap for a special day!

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Chocolate Rose Cake for Two
 Recipe by Adrianna - A Cozy Kitchen


 Ingredients
 Cake
 -3/4 cups all-purpose flour
 -3/4 cups white granulated sugar
 -1/3 cup Dutch cocoa powder
 -1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
 -3/4 teaspoon baking soda
 -1/2 teaspoon baking powder
 -1/2 teaspoon salt
 -1 large egg 
 -1/3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon, buttermilk 
 -1/3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon, warm water
 -1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil 
 - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 Frosting
 -3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature 
 -2 cups powdered sugar, sifted 
 -3 ounces dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled 
 -1 1/2 tablespoons cream or milk 
 -3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 
 -Flaked sea salt, for topping
 
What to do
1) To make the cake: preheat over to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 6-inch cake pans. This batter is sticky so I also lined the bottoms with parchment. I highly recommend this. You don't want to bake the whole thing up and have it stick. Set the pans aside. 
2) In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand-up mixer (with the paddle attachment), add the all-purpose flour, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined. Next, crack in the egg, pour in the buttermilk, warm water, olive oil and vanilla. Mix until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth, about 1 minute. The batter will be thinner than cake batter that you’re probably used to—that’s ok!
3) Divide the cake batter amongst the two cake pans and transfer to the oven to bake for 27 to 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. If you want it a little fudgier, check it around 25 minutes! Clean out the bowl you used to make the cake and dry it thoroughly. While the cake is cooling, use it to make the frosting,
4) To make the frosting: add all of the ingredients to the the cleaned large bowl or the bowl of the stand-up mixer (with the paddle attachment), add the butter, powdered sugar, melted chocolate, cream or milk and vanilla extract. Beat until thoroughly combined and fluffy, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix one last time, just to ensure everything is combined.
5) Decorating: Add a few tablespoons of frosting to the center of one of the rounds of cake. Smooth it around, until it reaches the edges. Add a pinch of salt all around. Place the second layer on top. Since I was going for a “naked cake” look, I added more frosting to the seam of the two cakes and smoothed it all around. Neat is not the goal! Add the remaining frosting to piping bag with a star tip attached. In the center of the top layer of cake, pipe out a rose by starting in the center and going all the way around twice. Complete the cake by adding smaller roses around the center rose. Don’t be shy to practice on a piece of parchment first and then simply add the frosting back to the piping bag—no waste!
6) Top the cake with a sprinkling of flaked sea salt!
 
Happy v-day lovebirds!!